It took several hours. There were spaces in the cookware of which no one was aware, save the poet. The soft downturn of the ladle handle soared and fell like the epic point guard's final jump shot as the seconds die awayâ€¦ Water turned from periods to semi-colons and, finally, ellipses. If the sponge was wrung-out in the perfect combination of soap and water - the poet erupted into mirthful glee. Otherwise, tears. The poet shooed his wife away from the dirty dishes like an Anthropologist hoarding the dirty femur of Java Man, stared out the window at the muddy March snow. He did not love the dishes; merely cherished them as a measure of time's elapse, a graceful collapse. Another chop gone by. The final swallow, the final tine, an expulsion of methane. As the last dish hit the rack the poet pondered the finality of one more meal; this all before dessert and coffee were even served. As always, it took a lifetime.